OKLAHOMA SPACE ALLIANCE

A Chapter of the National Space Society

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Minutes of August Meeting

         Oklahoma Space Alliance met August 11, 2012 at the Denny’s on the I-240 access road on the north side just east of Pennsylvania Avenue in southern Oklahoma City. Members attending included Steve, Karen and Brian Swift, David Sheeley, Russ Davoren, Tom Koszoru and Syd Henderson.
         Several OSA members met at Claire and Cliff McMurray’s to work on the proposed Space Art Contest. We will have to contact each school district from Norman and Noble to Edmond, and from Yukon to the east side of the Oklahoma City metro area. We want each district to get something. [Correction: Each Student should get something.] Subject: If you lived in space, what would your home look like?
         There was no need for a report on OSIDA because all the members attending the meeting were there. [Note: a report was included in the August Update.] There was no treasurer’s report because Tim was absent.

Presentations:
         We watched a video of the launch of the Mars rover Curiosity. There are 17 cameras on Curiosity.
         Ice cliffs on Mars are 800 meters high and the ice is several kilometers thick. The North Polar Cap is two kilometers thick at its center and as big as Texas.
         We watched a science experiment on the ISS of water bubbles circling knitting needles in zero-G. They do this because of opposing electric charges. The principle is similar to orbits in gravitational fields; electrical attraction also follows an inverse square law, and sideways velocity keeps the bubble from simply crashing into the needle. Actually the bubble also has a velocity component that goes down the needle, so that its path is a helix. When it reaches the end of the needle, the bubble reverses direction.
         We watched a memorial video for Sally Ride, a Nathalie Cabrol video on space exploration and a STS launch video.
         Russia launched five satellites in one launch.
         Japan sent a cargo module to the Space Station.
         Ariane 5 has now had 50 successful launches in a role.
         On August 3, NASA handed out $1.1 billion in contracts to three companies to privately develop rockets and spacecraft for what could be the next step in manned spaceflight. This includes $212.5 million to Sierra Nevada, $440 million and 450 million to Boeing.
The Morpheus prototype lander crashed during testing on August 9. Video of the crash is at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/10/nasa-morpheus-video-explosion_n_1765683.html. (Okay, just Google “Morpheus crash.”) Assuming it stops landing on its side, Morpheus is a potential lander on the Moon and asteroid.
         We watched an ISDC video of Jeff Greeson speaking on space policy. 20 year plans for space do not work because nobody can plan a big project 20 years ahead.


--Minutes by OSA Secretary Syd Henderson

Contact person for Oklahoma Space Alliance is Claire McMurray.
PO Box 1003
Norman, OK 73070
Webmaster is Syd Henderson.

Copyright 2012 Oklahoma Space Alliance.